THOMAS PETER HAMILTON. A single force in the material improvement of Wise county and one that has been at work for more than thirty years has been directed by the hand and brain of T. P. Hamilton, whose name initiates this biographical review. While small and insignificant in itself I has, in combination with myriads of others, worked wondrous changes in the county’s landscape and has brought it well toward a high social and agricultural stage.
Montgomery county, Mississippi, gave birth to T. P. Hamilton on the 20th of January, 1847, and he grew up there on a farm. His father, John Hamilton, went into that county early from Greene county, Alabama, where, in 1815, his birth occurred. Peter Hamilton, grandfather of our subject, was a native Tennesseean and a farmer, founded the family in Alabama and was there murdered by one of his negro servants, July 4, 1849. He was twice married, first to Miss Thornton, who bore him Peter, William, Ebe, John, James, Thomas, and a daughter, Mary, who married M. Leatherwood. No issue resulted from his second marriage. That he was a man of property and standing is evidenced by his ownership of slaves and it seems that he provided liberal education to at least some of his children.
When John Hamilton reached mature years he began life as a teacher in the country schools. He had learned farming under the regime of his father but taught school himself until after his marriage. His wife was Rachel Crenshaw, and he moved into Mississippi about 1845, where he passed away in 1850. Of his two sons, Peter alone survives; his brother John died from overheat during a fight where his horse was shot from under him. His widow married John Adkison and to them three children were born, namely: Nancy, wife of Lewis Cook, of Travis, Texas; Paul, of Wise county, and Kinch, of Oklahoma.
T. P. Hamilton made his home with his mother until after the war. The rural schools gave him his smattering of an education, and in 1863 he entered the Confederate service as a member of Company G, Fifth Mississippi Cavalry, Col. George, afterward United States senator from that state. His regiment was a part of Forrest’s command, Tennessee Army, but he was on detached service much of the time. He belonged to a detail to conscript men and to catch deserters and thus missed many engagements in which his regiment took part. However, he was under fire in the small engagements at Oxford and Abbeville, Mississippi. In January, 1865, he was sent home and en route was picked up by Grierson’s cavalry and paroled and before he could again qualify to enter he service the war closed.
He remained temporarily at home after the war and the next year after the surrender he went to Mobile, Alabama, and engaged in huckstering and fishing and oyster-dredging for a time. He also worked in saw-mills and was absent from home some three years. After farming a year at home he spent two years in Monroe county, Arkansas, returned to Mississippi for two years and then came to Texas. He brought with him to the Lone Star state a wife and child and money enough to provide himself with a farm and to start him in life right. He located on Paradise Prairie first, but disposed of his farm there in 1895 and bought the Couch homestead of eighty acres and has added one hundred and twenty acres of the Hallmark survey. Cotton and grain raising chiefly claim his attention and his success has placed him among the substantial small farmers of the county.
In May, 1874, Mr. Hamilton married Miss Kate Burton, born in Mississippi and died in Wise county, January, 1880. Two children were the result of this union, namely: Lillie, wife of Marvin Tunnell, of Bowie, and Carrie, wife of W. W. Edwards, of that city. In March, 1882, Mr. Hamilton married Mary J., a daughter of A. N. Jones, who came to Texas from Missouri. Of the issue of this marriage, Ada died at eighteen years; Ethel is yet at the parental home, as are Modina and Ruth.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Hamilton is a Democrat and in his fraternal connections is a Master Mason. He believes in the teachings of Holy Writ and holds a membership in the Christian church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 636-637.